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Hymn Writers of the Church
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Unknown. Some of our finest hymns are of unknown origin. The authors had such humble opinion of their work as to feel that it was not worth while to attach their names to their own productions. True worth and greatness are often unconscious of themselves. Of many of our greatest hymns of known authorship it is recorded that when their authors wrote them they had no thought whatever of writing anything of interest or value to others, and least of all anything that would be used in public worship; but, on the contrary, they were simply writing to give expression to their own religious experiences, feelings, and aspirations. (See notes under Nos. 272, 334, 460, 498, and 702.) A hymn of unknown authorship stands absolutely upon its merits, and it is therefore an even higher tribute to the merits of a hymn to admit it to a hymnal if its authorship be unknown than is the case where the authorship is known. After all, the song, and not the singer, is the precious thing to remember. As Mrs. Ellen H. Gates has said:

Though they may forget the singer,

They will not forget the song.

That song alone can hope to live forever that has its real and true elements of immortality not in its author but in itself, in its own power to awaken the spirit of devotion and inspire adoration and praise. In the following list of hymns we place not only those whose authorship is absolutely unknown, but also those hymns which, although accredited on circumstantial evidence to the hymn-writers whose names are given, are nevertheless of uncertain authorship. Some of the hymns in this list are translations by well-known writers from the Latin or other languages, the authorship of the originals alone being unknown.

Cast thy burden on the Lord 468
Christ is made the sure foundation 662
Come, Holy Ghost, in love 184
Come, thou almighty King 2
Creator, Spirit, by whose aid 194
Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) 599, 603, 747
Fairest Lord Jesus 118
Fear not, O little flock 445
How firm a foundation 461
I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of 335
Jerusalem, my happy home 608
Lord, for to-morrow and its needs 510
My God, I love thee, not because 483
Near the cross was Mary weeping 154
O come, all ye faithful 125
O for a heart of calm repose 376
O mother dear, Jerusalem 610
Our highest joys succeed our griefs 474
Saviour, like a shepherd lead us 677
Soon may the last glad song arise 630
To God on high be thanks and praise 93
Why should our tears in sorrow 591
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